Kris Bryant of the Cubs is of course the reigning National League MVP. If follows, then, that Mike Bryant, father of Kris, is indeed the parent of an MVP and the deep azure eyes of same. It further follows that the elder Mr. Bryant might have some informed opinions on the care and feeding of elite athletes. 

That general topic brings us to the trending topic of LaVar Ball. For the uninitiated, LaVar Ball is the father of Lonzo Ball -- late of UCLA and projected by our own Howard Megdal to go No. 2 overall in this year’s NBA draft -- and also the father of LiAngelo Ball, who’ll be part of UCLA’s freshman hoops class next season, and LaMelo Ball, who’s committed to UCLA for 2019. That is to say, the elder Mr. Ball also knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to raising high-level athletes. 

Mr. Ball, though, is a reliable source of controversy. He’s claimed he would’ve beaten Michael Jordan in one-on-one back in the day. He’s openly targeted a $1 billion shoe deal for Lonzo, and he’s feuded with Charles Barkley. That’s but a partial listing. 

Into these flames steps Mike Bryant, who had this to say about LaVar Ball during a recent appearance on Chicago’s ESPN 1000 (via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers):

“The guy is going to ruin it for his kids. I mean that in a sympathetic/empathetic way. Let his kids go out there and play and let the rest happen. But to compare him to Michael Jordan and better than Steph Curry, c’mon, that’s disrespecting those guys. If I had five minutes with him and I could get him to listen for two of them I think I could get him to think a little bit.”


“It makes my skin crawl. My wife would smack me upside the head if I acted like that.”

Rogers’ story has more quotes from Bryant, so check it out. 

Anyhow, when it comes to how other parents raise their kids, a good policy it to mind your own business, and that’s probably what Bryant should’ve done here. It’s of course entirely possible that LaVar Ball’s out-there approach will be detrimental to his sons’ careers, but we can’t know that, at least not this early. Who knows, maybe it’s even good for them in a counterintuitive way. Basketball makes more room for personal expression than baseball does, so perhaps Mike Bryant is viewing this through a baseball lens. 

In any case, the takes from and regarding LaVar Ball probably aren’t going away any time soon.